Troubled Heavyweights

The past few weeks have not been good ones for the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. Tyson Fury, who appeared poised to become a major sports superstar after his upset win over Wladimir Klitschko, is the subject of much speculation and scrutiny and his career may be in jeopardy. The U.K. heavyweight finds himself in danger of being stripped of all of his title belts after he tested positive for cocaine and he has since issued a series of unsettling public statements.

The start of a new era.
The start of a new era. Or maybe not.

As Sean Crose recently reflected: “Not even the wealth, glory and satisfaction that comes with winning the heavyweight championship of the world can necessarily keep [one’s demons] at bay. Sometimes the biggest battles, quaint and cliché as it may sound, are fought outside the ring.”

While no one can yet say for sure precisely why Fury appears to be imploding, he is not the first heavyweight battler to find himself in such straits. On the latest episode of Top Men Boxing Radio, Patrick Connor and Aris Pina discuss Fury’s plight and also look back and recall other big warriors who strayed from the straight and narrow and soon found themselves up to their thick necks in turmoil and strife.

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Mr. Fury’s namesake, none other than the erstwhile “Kid Dynamite,” comes up in the discussion, as do such names as Leon Spinks, Sonny Liston, Jack Johnson and Tommy Morrison, all of whom had their share of difficulties with drugs or booze or women or car accidents or street brawls, not to mention run-ins with The Law.

Leon liked to party.
Leon liked to party a little too much for his own good.

As always when Messrs. Connor and Pina banter on matters pugilistic, the repartee is both enlightening and entertaining. Check it out:

Follow Patrick and Aris on Twitter: @PatrickMConnor & @PunchZoneAris. And click here for all the Top Men Boxing Radio episodes you’ve missed and get caught up on your boxing history and fight news.

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